A Birthday for FrancesIt's Gloria's birthday, and big sister Frances is having a hard time. She tells her imaginary friend Alice, "That is how it is, Alice. Your birthday is always the one that is not now." Oh, how I could relate! It's so hard when it isn't your birthday. But Frances is sure, just sure that no one understands her.
by Russell Hoban
pictures by Lillian Hoban
NY: Harper and Row, 1968
available at your local library, my favorite bookstore, and on Amazon
Frances does decide - a bit reluctantly, for sure - that she should buy Gloria a present with her allowance. She decides on on Chompo Bar and four gumballs. But that Chompo Bar, oh that Chompo Bar just looks sooooo good. Does she really want to save it all for Gloria, or should she take just one taste?
I think what I like best about the Frances books is that Russell Hoban captures how these small moments are truly hard for kids. And yet, he infuses his stories with humor and compassion, so you can laugh at Frances at the same time as knowing just how she feels.
As my own mother read this to me, I knew that she could tell how I felt, that she loved me know matter if I ate my brother's Chompo Bar or not, and that there would be a hug waiting for me when I was ready to come out from under the kitchen table. Thanks, Mom, for infusing my life with a love of stories. For while Chompo Bars will melt and disappear, those memories never will.
Review ©2012 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books